With the holiday season fast approaching, you may be thinking about purchasing gifts from stores that employ people with disabilities. Here are a few options of businesses and organizations that do so, and which sell unique products sure to delight your friends and family! Better yet, they all have online stores, so you can shop from the comfort of your own home.
The Sweet Heat Jam Company produces “The jam with attitude” by blending fresh chili peppers and fruits. Founder Nolan Stillwell is a young culinary artist with Down syndrome, who is committed to employing other people with disabilities. They also sell individual jars of jam, with intriguing flavors such as “Apricot Jalapeno,” “Mango Heat,” and “Texas Carrot Cake.”
Seeds for Autism is a nonprofit organization based in Phoenix, Arizona. They provide educational and vocational training for people on the autism spectrum and sell handcrafted items made by their students. Some favorites include beautiful salt and pepper grinders, prickly pear herbal tea, and scented bath salts. These are just a few options – their catalogue has something for everyone!
Coletta Collections employs people with intellectual disabilities, provides them with craft training, and teaches important retail skills. Among other items, their products include intricate jewelry, colorful handbags, and decorative scarves.
Spectrum Designs is a non-profit print shop that employs people with Autism and other developmental disabilities. Their extensive catalogue includes articles of clothing and other items with almost limitless customization options. Or, as their website puts it, “You think it, we ink it!’
Socks get a bad rep as being one of the most boring gifts, but John’s Crazy Socks are far from dull. You can find anything from avocado socks to 3D alligator socks. Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is known for his fondness of novelty socks, is a fan. John’s Crazy Socks is run by John Lee Cronin, who has Down syndrome, and his father Mark. Not only does this business support John and other employees with disabilities, but they also give five percent of their proceeds to the Special Olympics. Additionally, they have the Awareness and Charity Socks collection, from which they donate five percent of proceeds to the Special Olympics and support a variety of other causes.
Do you have any favorite businesses or organizations that are committed to employing people with disabilities? Let us know in the comments!